We all have them, the person in your life that you can count on, the one who loves and supports you no matter what. For myself and my five siblings that person is our Mother, Jo Ann Truchard. She’s is the always smiling force of positivity that leaves everyone she interacts with feeling a little better about the world.

It was early April 17 years ago, my parents were preparing to go on a trip, and my mother didn’t feel quite right. She scheduled and appointment with her primary care doctor that didn’t reveal anything specific. She continued to feel exhausted and at the urging of her good friend Linda she finally relented and drove herself to the ER. It was then that she learned that the mass she had felt on her side and the reason for her lack of energy was colon cancer.

I remember visiting my mother that day in the hospital. I knew the moment I walked in the room it was our turn to be there for her. There was optimistic serenity as all the children and my father gathered in her room. My mother, 62 at the time, was still relatively young and had a lot of life and more grandchildren ahead of her, yet her own children were old enough to understand the severity of the surgery and the chemotherapy that would follow.

In addition to each other, what gave us all comfort was the knowledge that my mother had great doctors that understood what was happening to her and what they were going to do about it. Dr. Robert White operated on my mother a few days later removing the cancerous tumor and 18 inches of her colon. After the surgery she went through 6 months of chemotherapy with the hope of eradicating any remaining cancer. During the entire time she was surrounded by her family who was there to support her but as soon as she could, it was her that was back to her usual self, taking care of us.

At her 5 year check up and colonoscopy she was declared “cured from cancer”. It was then that the doctor told her that she was one of the lucky ones. At the time he had given her less than a 50% chance of survival. That was 17 years and 8 grandchildren ago.

My mother is today, as she has been her whole life, an example of how to be a beautiful person, wife, mother, and grandmother. It is because of the dedication of hardworking doctors and scientist that we are beginning to understand how to combat this disease that my mother is with us today. It is because organizations like the V foundation provide research dollars to doctors and scientists with novel ideas of how cure this disease that many cancer survivors are with us today. It is because of people who understand the need and place for organizations like V foundation that those dollars are directed to the right people.

Our family is honored to be the Vintner grant honoree this year. Please join us in having a full day of laughing, thinking, crying and raising money at this years V Foundation Wine Celebration! Let’s together make it a special day, one heck of a day!

John Anthony & Michele Truchard

John Anthony Family of Wines